Mostly musicology: some 16th century dating advice for the dance floor

Thoinot Arbeau (1520-1595) was the anagram pen name of Jehan Tabourot (remember j and i are interchangeable).  He wrote about dance and music.  His writing remains a principle source for how the two were combined.  Arbeau believed dance to be good for both “health and…the pleasurable search for a mate.” 

While searching for your mate on the 16th century dance floor, however, he advises that you “spit and blow your nose sparingly”.  Obviously, some spitting is unavoidable and won’t result in maidens being put off too much.  Speaking of the young maids, if you are wearing your 16th century “mead goggles”, Arbeau suggests a plan of action.  When the dance is over, dancers are “permitted to kiss their mistresses…to ascertain if they are shapely or emit an unpleasant odour as of bad meat.”

Nothing causes more regret than getting prematurely emotionally attached to someone that smells like bad meat.  I guess some things are just as true 400 years later.